Healthy Macaroni Salad

This healthy macaroni salad recipe has all the flavours and creaminess that you would expect from the classic salad but it’s made with a lower calorie dressing.

This healthy macaroni salad recipe has all the flavours and creaminess that you would expect from the classic salad but made with a lower calorie dressing.

Pasta salads like this healthy macaroni salad are a staple in our household.

Not only are they really easy to put together for packed lunches, but for me, on a late night home from work they are also quick and easy to prepare.

Also folks, as we get near the end of the month when money gets tighter and we’re all looking forward to that next pay day, I’m sure like me, you’ll welcome this excellent budget friendly recipe!

This healthy macaroni salad recipe has all the flavours and creaminess that you would expect from the classic salad but made with a lower calorie dressing.

All I’ve simple done here is to take the classic macaroni salad recipe and use some of my low calorie dressing.

When I say “the classic macaroni salad” I mean our favourite version of it which has our favourite selection of salad ingredients in it. Of course you are welcome to use any selection of ingredients you may wish and again being budget friendly this is a great recipe for you to use up any leftovers. “Waste not want not” as they say!

The low carloie dressing used here is the same one as from my tuna pasta and sweetcorn salad recipe which again is versatile enough to be used on other salad recipes, this being a prime example!

This healthy macaroni salad recipe has all the flavours and creaminess that you would expect from the classic salad but made with a lower calorie dressing.

If I’m making this healthy macaroni salad as a packed lunch option I’ll probably add a little more macaraoni that I would if it’s an evening meal.

Why? Well as I learnt when I was doing my nutrition courses a few years ago, macaraoni pasta is a carbohydrate which is a slow energy releasing food.

Pasta takes longer to digest, which is fine if you’re on the go during the day as you’re burning the calories it’s releasing, but in the evening you really don’t want to go to bed on a stomach filled with a huge amouts of carbs as this is when the body can store that excess energy as fat.

So in the evening instead of “bulking up” the salad with more macaroni I’ll try and add more salad ingredients which the body can break down and digest much quicker.

5 from 1 vote
This healthy macaroni salad recipe has all the flavours and creaminess that you would expect from the classic salad but made with a lower calorie dressing.
Print
Healthy Macaroni Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
This healthy macaroni salad recipe has all the flavours and creaminess that you would expect from the classic salad but made with a lower calorie dressing.
Course: Lunch or Dinner
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 338 kcal
Author: neil@neilshealthymeals.com
Ingredients
For the low calorie dressing: -
  • 4 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 4 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper to season
For the Salad: -
  • 250 g whole wheat macaroni
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs diced
  • 100 g cucumber diced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 red pepper finely diced
  • 85 g red onion finely diced
  • 1 stick celery finely diced
  • 1/2 small carrot grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the macaroni according to the packet instructions in boiling salted water, rinse until cooled under cold water, drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the eggs, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, celery and grated carrot.
  3. Put all of the dressing ingredients into a jar with a screw top lid and shake well.
  4. Pour dressing over macaroni and salad and mix well until everything is coated with the dressing.
  5. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
  6. Refrigerate until required for serving.
Recipe Notes

You can cook the eggs at the same time as the macaroni is cooking, just make sure they are well cooled too. Keep refrigerated.

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Macaroni Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 338 Calories from Fat 73
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.1g 12%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
Monounsaturated Fat 2.1g
Cholesterol 74.6mg 25%
Sodium 151.7mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 53.7g 18%
Dietary Fiber 3.5g 14%
Sugars 5.7g
Protein 11.7g 23%
Vitamin A 13%
Vitamin C 43%
Calcium 4%
Iron 14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This healthy macaroni salad recipe has all the flavours and creaminess that you would expect from the classic salad but it's made with a lower calorie dressing.

And on that excellent link it’s now time to announce that I’ll be taking a break and there won’t be anything published next week.

What link Neil?

Ha ha, yeah I know there isn’t one. I couldn’t think of one, although I did say in the previous Quorn meatballs recipe!

OK so what’s happening is that Lady Lynne and I are off to walk the Hadrian’s Wall Path. That’s 84 miles of glorious English countryside.

Hopefully we’ll experience some dry weather, some good food and some local Ale’s in the evenings after a well deserved 15 – 20 miles hike each day.

I’ll put together a complation of the best bits and photographs when I get back, but for now have a great weekend and I’ll catch up with you in a week’s time!

TTFN! 😉

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This healthy macaroni salad recipe has all the flavours and creaminess that you would expect from the classic salad but it's made with a lower calorie dressing.

Comments

  1. First and foremost, enjoy the walk! As you know, I’m a Roman history buff, so the thought of walking Hadrian’s Wall is seriously awesome to me. Plus, I’m guessing you’ll be treated to some amazing views of the Scottish countryside along the way. I can’t wait to see photos! Secondly, thanks for the yummy recipe. We have a long weekend (Labor Day) coming up here in the States, and I was just telling Laura that I want to make mac salad since we really haven’t made it very much this summer. I’ll have to healthify my version with your tips here. Thanks! 🙂
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    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Thank you David. This is my second time walking the Hadrian’s Wall walk and I’m seriously excited to be doing it again and this time doing it with Lynne. There’s so much history and excellent scenery along the way that when I did it the first time with my regular walking buddy Mike, I just knew I had to do it again!

      Enjoy your long weekend (Labor Day) and your mac salad too. I’ll raise a beer to toast you along the way! Have a good one! 😀

  2. I am all about fantastic pasta salads. They always scream summer to me 🙂

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Agreed. And as there’s been a bit of a reduction in the temperature here, this may well be my last pasta salad, and salad recipe this year. 🙁

  3. Great recipe Neil. I love how versatile macaroni can be in recipes and this salad recipe is amazing. Really easy and quick to prepare. Makes a perfect lunch.
    Enjoy your walk… looking forward to seeing the beautiful pictures

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Hey Ashika, just back from our walk and sorry I missed your amazing comment!

      Yes, isn’t macaroni just one of those brilliant cheap and easy recipe components to pair with lots of things, saving time and money? Love it! 🙂

      Pictures coming up in a few weeks time, got some others coming on Tuesday though! Hope you enjoy them!

  4. I really love that you’ve worked all those vegetables into that salad.

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Thanks Jeff. They are our favourite vegetable selection to compliment the macaroni, but as mentioned in the recipe, you really can make it your own by basically adding anything.

  5. Ben | Havocinthekitchen says:

    I do love a good pasta salad. On the other hand I don’t like those pasta salads (As well as potato ones) which are submerged in tons of mayo sauce. As the matter of fact, I normally go with a little drizzle of both olive oil and balsamic. I’m not against mayo though – it has to be a little touch like you’ve got here, Neil. Delicious version!

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      I totally agree Ben. Salads can be absolutely ruined by submerging them in tons of mayo sauce.

      I’m like you and I need to be able to taste my food and have a dressing that compliments and doesn’t spoil the food.

      This dressing is just a light touch, as you say, and just enough to give this salad its added boost. 😀

  6. Great recipe! It’s tough to work loads of veg into a salad but the creativity here makes it work so well! A brilliant way to spice up an old classic!

  7. As a passionate lover of pasta, this recipe is my cup of tea, Neil! Can’t wait to prepare it!

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Glad you like it Agness. 🙂

      You can’t beat a lovely bowl of comforting pasta can you? Especially if its filled with lots of healthy salad ingredients too. Hope you are well! 😀

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